Jan. 22, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. - Atlanta Braves broadcaster and former Sooner All-American Joe Simpson is scheduled to be the featured guest speaker at the annual Oklahoma baseball Home Run Banquet on Thursday, Feb. 1. The banquet, which provides fans and supporters a preview of the upcoming season, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Norman. The event will be attended by both current players and coaches as well as appearances by former Sooners who are presently playing in the Major Leagues.

Simpson returns to Norman where he was an All-American selection in 1973 and a two-time all-district and all-conference honoree in 1972 and 1973 at OU. Originally from Norman, Simpson has spent the last nine years as the Braves' announcer after broadcasting Seattle Mariners games from 1987-1991. He played professional baseball for 11 seasons and enjoyed several brief stints with the Dodgers, Mariners and Royals organizations.

The banquet is open to the public and the cost to attend is $15 per person. Reservations may be made by contacting the Oklahoma baseball office at (405) 325-8354, by Thursday, Jan. 25.

The Sooners enter the season ranked 15th by Collegiate Baseball and 19th in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN Top 25 preseason polls. The squad opens the season at home on Friday, Feb. 2, against Oklahoma Baptist at 3 p.m.